In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State University.
Wentz has come a very long way to the player he has become coming out of college and developing himself into a top elite quarterback in this year’s draft. Wentz has worked very hard since his freshman year at North Dakota State. He was under recruited and was not given any scholarships to any college and decided to take his chances on being a walk on for the Bison of North Dakota State. He didn’t become the starting quarterback until 2014 and he delivered in a big way. He has two years of starting experience and has two FCS national championships.
The quarterback that he reminds many of is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for how tall and big of a player he is in his position (6’5/237 pounds). He can handle pressure well and make something big happen at any given moment which many NFL franchises would love to have.
Jan 30, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Carson Wentz of North Dakota State (11) looks to throw a pass during first half of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
He never gives up on plays when he looks like when he is about to be sacked as he is able to move around and get away to extend a play. He is able to stay in the pocket and handle anything coming his way. When he is interviewed, many people can sense the appreciation of him loving the game of football and wanting to become the best at what he does.
There are a lot of things NFL scouts and franchises like about him that make him a top twenty draft pick. What most rookie players lack coming out of college that Wentz doesn’t is how intelligent he is and how great a work ethic he possesses. Wentz also shows good vision and works to his second and third read regularly.
He also has good arm strength with enough zip on the ball to get it right where it needs to be. What most quarterbacks lack that Wentz has is the way he can improvise with making smart decisions on the football field to always put his team in a position to win plenty of football games.
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Wentz has very good velocity on the ball and he is able to make deep throws down the field effectively.
He is a leader on and off the field that franchises want to have to build around.
Like Big Ben, Wentz has some real athleticism in the open field and makes big plays. Even though he played in a weaker conference in football, he was able to lead his school to back to back national championships. He is very difficult to bring down and causes opposing teams to prepare extra for everything that he brings to the table.
What might come back to hurt Wentz that other players in his position have done in college was face elite competition. What he needs to work on is not to stare down his primary target before the snap of the ball even happens. He needs to also fix his form on how he throws the football because at times his passes look very shaky. He needs to improve and work on his techniques when dropping back to pass ensuring he is in a very fluid motion.
Even though he weights in at 220 pounds, he still needs to gain more weight because of big players are now these days. If he doesn’t put on more weight then he will struggle in staying healthy because of how much of a beating his body will take. The lack of competition he faced will be a big adjustment for him to handle.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
His size, athleticism and ability should appeal to teams looking for a very good all-around quarterback that can help any franchise improve in a short amount of time. Wentz will be drafted early in the first round (2nd-8th picks). Make no mistake about it, Wentz has the potential to be a very elite quarterback in the NFL.